Hundreds turn out for annual women's march in downtown Vancouver

WATCH: Marches were held around the world Saturday for gender equality and the end to violence against women. Jill Bennett has more on the third annual Women's March and spoke with those who turned up to have their voices heard in Vancouver.

Hundreds gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (North Plaza) for the third annual March On, Vancouver event.

People gathered for speeches at 10 a.m. and began marching at 11 a.m.

Organizer Samantha Monckton said the women’s march was focused on a variety of issues that concern women, including sexual assault, the rights of people with disabilities, anti-Semitism, racism and Indigenous rights.


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The event changed its location this year as well, moving to the Art Gallery from its previous starting point at Jack Poole Plaza, and Monckton said the new destination — the Vancouver law courts — was intentional.

“We need to change laws in this country as well, and we’re going to be voting in the fall. We just need to pay attention to how the issues we will be talking about in the future will affect us, by votes or by laws,” she said.

Vancouver’s march was one of dozens held across Canada on Saturday, with events scheduled from Victoria to Fredericton.

It was also concurrent to massive women’s marches taking place across the United States. While March On, Vancouver was inspired by U.S. women’s marches, the event is not affiliated with either the Women’s March or March On groups in the United States.

While the movement sprung up in the U.S. in 2017 following President Donald Trump’s election, Monckton said Canadian organizers wanted to stay focused on home-grown issues.


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“We need to focus on what’s going on in Canada. It’s enough that we have to hear about him every single day; I know he loves the attention,” she said.

“But (what) we want to do is focus the attention on what Canada needs to do to make this a better place for us.”

The event was slated to wrap up around noon on Saturday.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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